Robert Fludd Essential Readings * William H. Huffman (1992)

Earlier I reviewed three titles in the series Western Esoteric Masters. Of Robert Fludd (1574-1637) I got the book second hand, but apparently in an earlier version. The book is called Robert Fludd, essential readings. The 2001 version says nothing of an earlier version, but it does have the 1991 introduction of Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke and the table of contents is the same, so I suppose it really is the same book, perhaps slightly reworked (the essential readings series also has titles about Dee and Boehme of the same authors and those of the Western Esoteric Masters series.) The texts featured are Fludd’s defense of the Rosicrucians, a few bits from his Utriusque Cosmi, Declaratio Brevis, his ‘philosophical key’, Fludd’s parts of his public discussions with Keppler and Foster, Truth’s Golden Harrow and Mosaicall Philosophy. I was mostly looking forward for Fludd’s history of the macrocosmos and the microcosmos from which the beautifull frontispiece is depicted on the the cover of the new version of Huffman’s book. This more esoteric writing is, together the also more esoteric Mosaicall Philosophy with distance the more interesting read in this book. The rest of the texts are more philosophical or even ‘mundane’. I understand how Huffman tried to give a broad view of the last real Renaissance man, but my personal interest is not so much in the life of Fludd, but rather some of his ideas. The writings about early science are amusing too sometimes though, such as the article about the “weatherglass” which is presented as some sort of thermometer, while it is actually more of a barometer. But especially the lengthy texts of Fludd defending himself against accusations of practising magic are not all that interesting. Just as with the other books in the series, this title is an alright book with some nice chapters. I like the idea of being able to read something of these persons, rather than about them and I understand that a comprenhensive view is given, but my interest lays only in a part of the authors. The version of the book that I have, has some not-too-good-looking images inside, it could be that the new version has better printing and certainly (some) other images, since the ‘look inside this book’ of Amazon already has the cover of Utriusque Cosmi on the opening pages. There is a big difference in the number of pages by the way, 272 for the old version, 150 for the new!
1992 Aquarian Press, isbn 1855381427
2001 North Atlantic Books, isbn 1556433735

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